The Evolution of Oriya Wedding Ceremonies

The people of Odisha are simple and down-to-earth and this simplicity is reflected in their wedding ceremonies too. Oriya weddings are a celebration of culture and togetherness, with the ceremonies being spread over three or four days and involving family and friends from near and far. While weddings are an occasion of great joy, there is hardly any opulence or extravagance in Oriya weddings. From the rituals to the attire, minimalism is the significant factor.

Different Ritualistic Customs

The evolution of Oriya weddings has taken place over the ages. Though the basic customs, traditions and rituals are more or less the same, there are subtle differences in the rituals observed by the various castes. For instance, the Utkala brahmins have their wedding in the daytime while the others in the evening. Widow re-marriage is allowed only in certain lower castes and cousin marriage is practised only in western and southern Odisha. The mother of the groom is not present during the ceremony.

The Main Wedding Rituals Are:

• Mangal tradition: This is the haldi ceremony where the family and friends bless the bride by applying turmeric paste on her face. She is then bathed in a mixture of milk and water.

• Diya mangula pujan: This involves worshipping the family deity to seek her blessings and offering her sari, jewellery and vermilion.

• Barajatri & Badhua Pani Gadhua: Barajatri is the wedding procession of the groom that arrives at the bride’s house and badhua pani gadhua is where the bride is informed of the groom’s arrival and then taken for her ceremonial bath.

• Haatha Ghanti: The ritual involves the bride and the groom taking seven circles around the fire while Vedic mantras are chanted.

• Grihapravesh: When the newly-weds reach the groom’s house, the mother of the groom welcomes the bride with a small aarti. This is the grihapravesh ceremony.

• Astha mangala: The couple visits the bride’s home on the eighth day after the wedding and is treated to a sumptuous feast.


The wedding attire is a very important aspect of Oriya matrimony. The women are known to wear simple but rich and colourful saris while men wear dhotis with golden border. The wedding sari of the bride can be of silk, georgette, cotton or chiffon and have intricate handwork and embroidery. In keeping with the Indian culture and the joyous occasion, bright colours like red, orange, maroon are used in the bride’s attire. To complement the clothing, elaborate gold jewellery like necklaces, earrings, anklets, bangles, etc.

The Evolution of the Attire

Although traditional and culturally vibrant, the Oriya wedding attire has undergone various changes and modifications over the years. While silk and cotton are still the most popular, lighter fabrics like chiffon are increasingly used now because of the convenience. Innovations may also include a ghargra-choli or lehenga sari. There has been variety in the groom’s attire as well. Instead of the dhoti, men could opt for kurta-pajama or even a Sherwani or a Western suit.

The appeal of an Oriya wedding and its attire is universal and have resulted in a fine blend of the traditional and contemporary.

Satria Permadi

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